All right, here it is: the obligatory Valentine's-Day-or-love-related post you're probably expecting for the month of February. LOL!
I just got over being sick and am still catching up on work, so I decided to simply throw together a list of . . . well, you've read the title of the post. And, since it's not a leap year, there are 28 days this month, so that's 1 thing per day.
(Note that the title says things, not people - much more than all the things listed below, I love my family and friends. <3 <3 <3 Mushy, mushy . . . Also, these aren't necessarily in order, and certainly not comprehensive.)
Okay, here we go:
1. Books. Duh. Especially fantasy and sci-fi ones.
2. Chocolate. The food of the gods. You cannot possibly convince me there's a tastier treat. My books are brought to you by it, and by:
3. Tea. Yes, in my opinion, it beats coffee. I don't have to load tea up with creamer to tolerate it. (I still drink coffee, but out of caffeine necessity alone.) . . . Does anyone put creamer in tea? That's just weird! ;P
4. Music. The therapy that gets me through . . . everything. What am I listening to lately?
5. PUNS! And humor in general. Laughter is also very therapeutic.
6. Anime. It's just freaking awesome. I could list so many good anime shows, but the major ones I'd recommend are Bleach and Naruto.
7. Memes. You're welcome for the one below. :D
8. The internet. Since I have an online company, yeah, pretty helpful. And I've gotten almost 100% of my editing/proofreading jobs via the internet. Staying connected with faraway/busy friends and family. Etc., etc., etc.!!
9. The scent of fresh-cut roses or lilacs. Mmmmmm.
10. The aroma of laundry detergent. Filling my house or emanating from neighbors' houses when I'm walking my dog. (I either smell that or cigarette smoke on our walks. Sometimes both.)
11. My dog. He's family, but I'm already struggling to think of more things. ^_^;;; (Dogs in general, and how excited they get when you come home to them.)
12. My dog's thick, soft, fluffy fur. Even though it gives me little static shocks in the winter . . . I can't stop petting The Fluff!!! <3 <3
13. Being cozy, and soft things in general. Like the super-soft blanket I got for Christmas, which I've been snuggling under, reading, nightly.
14. GIFs. They make social media much easier and more fun! When you can't think of the right words to reply to a post, GIFs got your back.
15. My beautiful purple office. My sanctuary, full of books, Pikachus, and Baby Yodas. And way too much other crap. XD
16. Pandas. Especially when they flop and tumble around like little drunks, hahaha. Fun fact: My sister got to hold a baby panda on her lap at a zoo in Beijing when she was teaching English there about a decade ago! (She had to wear a surgical gown to protect the panda and pay about $100!)
17. Dragons. . . . Hey, I didn't say these would all be REAL things. ;)
18. Castles. Real ones or in fantasy art. The only castle I've gotten to visit so far is the Tower of London. A good one! (The tour guides are hilarious!) I really want to visit some Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Japanese castles!!
19. Beautiful journals. Which I am never, ever going to write in and thus ruin. They are for looking at only. XD
20. That feeling when a book comes to a completely satisfying and perfect conclusion, even if it makes you cry.
21. Fanfiction. Especially when your favorite character is a minor one in canon and you want more, more, more about them! (I'm talking about fanfiction that's well written and keeps the characters in-character, etc.) See my Fun Stuff page for my favorite Harry Potter fanfics.
22. Little Free Libraries. I really want to get one installed in my neighborhood! That's one item on my huge to-do list.
23. Weekends. Getting to sleep in and recover from the stress of the work week.
24. When it's raining but there are also bright beams of sunlight slanting through the cloud breaks. Oh yes, and rainbows!
25. The trees in autumn. Glorious colors. The season in general; that smoky smell of bonfires and the nip in the air. The energy it gives you to get stuff done before the dark, dreary winter sets in.
26. When winter finally ends and you can breathe again and feel alive again. Hope and renewal. I'm pretty lucky to have the first day of spring also be my birthday.
27. Finally having a job I'm passionate about, even if it didn't come till my mid-30s . . . better late than never! (And, honestly, that's not really that late, a lot of people would say. It's true - and I'm VERY thankful for my job!!)
28. When I find a new, glowing review of my book on Amazon!! :D :D <3 <3
29. Surprising people with bonus content! XD XD XD (That's a laughing face with squinting eyes, if you didn't know. Haven't figured out how to put emojis in here.)
30. Emojis. OMG, how could I forget those?!?!
All right, I'm done for real now. XD
Laughter is indeed a potent medicine, and I couldn't survive February without it! It also helps to think about lovely things, like all the ones I just listed. But especially to think about and to be with the people I love. Even if I can only Skype or text them.
I hope you're surviving February too. Maybe it's not so bad where you are (lucky!!) but if you live where I live, it's definitely the worst month. Northern Ohio is one of the least-sunny places in the US, and there's always that "always winter, never Christmas" feeling around now.
When February rolls around, I'll roll my eyes
Turn a cold shoulder to those even colder skies
And by the fire, my heart it heaves a sigh
For the green grass waiting on the other side . . .
. . . Yet in the midst of all this ice and snow
Our hearts stay warm 'cause they are filled with hope.
- Relient K, In Like a Lion (Always Winter)
Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.